28 answers

How Do I Get the Gnats to Go Away?!! Apple Cider & Vacuum Cleaner Problems...

My kids left a soft sided lunch box FILLED with food (from a plane trip) sitting, unpacked for almost 2 weeks. (They flew back ahead of me & my ex didn't check the bag.) Anyway, I started getting a few gnats & couldn't figure out why they were coming around. I finally found the source, cleaned out the lunch box & put it outside, then made sure all fresh fruit was in the fridge, but the gnats are still flying around, and they seem to be increasing in numbers!

How do I get rid of them? I tried opening the door, but they're still hanging out in the kitchen. I don't want to keep doing that because it's so hot outside. I tried burning a candle, but I guess the scent isn't strong enough.

Help! It's like I never got rid of the food source because they're all still flying around bringing in their long distance cousins for a family reunion!

The apple cider vinager isn't working. Two plates, a coffee cup and a wine glass have been near them for almost 6 hours now. Apparently they can sit ontop of it and fly off when they realize it's a liquid.

I tried vacuuming, but arent' they going to fly out of the bag?

Any ideas or advice you have will be appreciated, as these things are flying around while I'm typing on the computer. Every second counts here!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I typed the "So what happened" information below, but 24 hours later, there was another event regarding the fruit flies:

They were fruit flies, and what worked best (by accident) was a can of pineapple with one one slice left in it, and little to no juice. I took one slice out (leaving one slice in the can,) and put it on a plate per one of the suggestions. I covered the one leftover slice in the can and covered it by laying a tupperware lid ontop of it. It wasn't air tight, but enough to keep it from drying out.

Anyway, after 24 hours, only two fruit flies were attracted to the slice on the plate and died, so I threw that out. I went to throw out the can with the tupperware lid on it and there were TONS and TONS of fruit flies in the can that couldn't get out. I couldn't believe it. I don't know how they got in, and apparently they didn't know how to get out! That can went straight outside. Absolutely GROSS!

Apparently that was the answer though. WHO KNEW?!!! LOL!

Original "So what happened":
You're right! I think they are fruit flies rather than gnats. After trying the Apple Cider Vinegar in a plate, and vacuuming the little boogers to no avail, I looked over the rest of your suggestions. Last night I set out a glass with Apple Cider Vinegar with a banana peel in it, and tin foil with a few holes rubber banded on top. I also set out a champagne glass with the Apple Cider Vinegar and a plastic funnel, as well as a pineapple slice in a plate with the juice around it.

The results? This morning I have 3 gnats in the champagne glass, one on the pineapple plate, and about 18 in the glass with the banana peel and tin foil. Yea! I think I found my cure! The fruit flies are on their way to "Swimming in Cider!"

All of the food has been put away and I've also been pouring boiling water down the drain a couple of times a day. They look like they're going away, although I'm going to leave out the vinegar for another day. The trick to the vinegar (if it's not in an enclosed area,) is that it has to have the soapy suds. Otherwise they just land on the vinegar and fly off.

This is not a fast project, but at least there is a cure.

Thanks everyone! Now I can sleep without waking up thinking there are gnats landing on me. EWW! (They weren't, but I was dreaming they were.)

Featured Answers

The apple cider vinegar is the right trick, but...you have to put a few drops of liquid dish soap in it! Stir it up and they fall right in! It works like a charm. Good Luck!


I think that you are supposed to put some drops of liquid soap in with the apple cider vinegar so that the gnats get stuck in it. Why not use some insect spray after you put the kids outside or get some one to take them somewhere. You won't have to use much spray. Then wash down whatever you sprayed.

Sounds like fruit flies and they multiply very quickly (they go from larva to fly in about a week to two). Bleach down the drain should help. They like sink drains because they are moist and there is good stuff to eat. I would do this at least once a day for the next week or so.

More Answers

Well I don't know if this will work with nats but it works well with fly's and moth's...mix a pan of dish water and put it under the microwave light at night when the house is dark. Not sure if they are attracted to light as the above bugs but the dish soap will weigh down their wings so they can't fly away when they realize it is just a liquid.

N. - full time working mother of a 21/2 yo boy and a 16mo girl, with the best husband, father and LT. a women could want.

Hi J.,
Get a venus fly trap. You can find them at most grocerie stores this time of year and they LOVE gnats! It's better than using chemicals with kids around!
If you can't find any at your local grocerie store, try a nearby nursery, they're sure to have them!
Good Luck!

T. B.
Team Leader
Bubble Goddess Bath Company
"Natural Bath Products For Your Inner Goddess"

I read recently that a good way to repel flies is to soak a sponge with lavendar, peppermint or clove oil. Just place in area to repel flies.
Hope that helps!

I had a problem like that and inadvertently trapped then in one of those kitchen oil bottles with the pour spout that had just regular vinager. With that said an idea comes to mind, try a cup with a lid, and straw that is cut just above the fluid level so they can fly in and not get back out. Try that if you don't have the bottle, but if you need to buy one they are very useful and quicker to use when adding small amounts of oil or vinager. I hope that helps and don't use a paper cup, after a day or two the vinager will eat trough the paper and leak all over. I hope the straw is small enough so the won't fly out. Let me know if that works.

My husband has used the vacuum very successfully in the past to suck them up.

About six months ago, I had a similar problem with fruit flies. I didnt even think this was a possiblity until I discovered where these little nasty bugs were living. We also had some rotton apples in our cupboard and thought we got rid of the source, but the bugs kept increasing even though there were no other food source available for them. Then I noticed their food source were our plants. There were thousands of these bugs around our plants. I think they were multipling in the dirt of our plants. We put our plants outside after changing the dirt. Two plants died as a result, but those plants werent the good plants we had, so we werent sad to see those plants go. Our other plants servived the ordeal and the bugs were finally gone. I hope this helps. M. sahm of 4 year old girl and 2 year old boy.


I think that you are supposed to put some drops of liquid soap in with the apple cider vinegar so that the gnats get stuck in it. Why not use some insect spray after you put the kids outside or get some one to take them somewhere. You won't have to use much spray. Then wash down whatever you sprayed.

You should try white vinegar in salt shakers. They go in and cannot get out. Plus, you should close off your drains when not in use. They like cool dark places and have been known to lay eggs in open drains. There are other remedies, but these 2 always work when they sneak inside the house. I also keep all trash cans in the garage or outside until they are gone.

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